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Child maintenance if share custody 50/50

(77 Posts)
ScandiCinnamon Mon 01-Oct-18 15:22:47

Hello all.

Just a bit of background; I am midst what is turning out to be a nasty separation from an emotionally abusive and controlling person. It has taken me years to build up the strength to call time on this relationship.

We are not married. Have two DDs in primary school.

We jointly own the property we are in but are otherwise in polar opposites financially. We always had separate finances. I worked PT in low paid job whilst looking after DD’s for 5.5 years. = no savings.
For years OH was absent in evenings and weekends in meetings and doing his own hobby etc etc. I cried and argued over this but no, he was happy with the amount of time he spent with us. We weren’t.

However, now he is turning out to be father of the year and want to have the DD’s 50/50 and as he pointed out repeatedly yesterday, will therefore not pay any child maintenance.

I for the record to not want to do 50/50 but as he is their father there is nothing I can do to prevent this (?)

Now, I have heard this before; If the overnight time is split 50/50 between the parents no child maintenance needs to be paid……..

However, when I just logged on to the UK Government Child Maintenance Calculator and I put in that the children will ‘On average stay with him more than 3 nights a week (it would be every second week 3 every second week 4 so 3.5 nights a week) the result still show as he needs to pay maintenance………. I am very confused.
I know I need to find a good solicitor but due to finances I would like to have my ducks in as neat a row as prior to heading there. He can afford to hire a fancy lawyer and go to court. I can’t.

Does anyone have any experience to share?

Much appreciated

OP’s posts: |
redannie118 Mon 01-Oct-18 15:35:05

I used to work for CMS. Do you recieve CHB and tax credits? If so technically you are the parent with care and can claim maintenance. However if split is a true 50/50 he can claim it from you as well. Now if you are on a low wage and he is on a very high wage it will still be worth your while to do this. Bigword of warning though he can claim the CHB in his name and although chances are desicion would be in your favour it can stop your CHB and TCs for up to 6 months while they decide. I used to see this a lot( it also happened to me with my ex)as most single parents rely on TCs as a large part of imcome its well worth what would be of more value to you, the maintenance or TCs. I hope tbis helps

redannie118 Mon 01-Oct-18 15:36:36

Sorry for typos on a very bumpy bus !!

BrightonTony Mon 01-Oct-18 16:31:37

I normally don't post here as I don't know he etiquette with men posting. But I have experience on the other side of he fence - dad with nearly 50/50 custody - and don't think you're right here.

I think you're in a better position than you think you are.

He definitely has to pay what the calculator says - I do. £350 even tho I have the kids as much as she does and earn the same (bit less). She went to the CMA and they confirmed this. They'll do the calculations based on his previous year's salary and you both take it in turns to speak to them - so you don't need a solicitor for this, and don't need to worry about him being angry or upset with you.

I left the house and she took main caregiver status as a result and then decided when j could have them. I think you hold all the cards here. Obvs you (both?) want to avoid getting into legal if you can, but I would be inclined to take the lead and tell him when you think it's best he has them.

I have to say 50/50 works very well for us. I have tues and weds and every other weekend. We both have good new relationships, see lots of the kids etc. There is hope!

Also she chooses what to spend the money on. She decided that I should pay all the childcare, breakfast club, after school clubs etc for my days. She covers uniforms and clothes out of the maintenance but the rest goes on the house, car etc.

I hope this doesn't sound like me whining about my ex cos I just want to reassure you it might not be as bad as you think.

ScandiCinnamon Mon 01-Oct-18 21:30:20

Thank you so much both of you. Really appreciate your replies.

redannie..I claim CHB but not tax credits.

BrightonTony I personally think it’s great to hear from your side of the fence, so to speak.

I really do not want to have to go down the legal route l, but he is being so pushy and making all sorts of statements that I fear I will have to.

My exOH is completely adamant that I shall not be named the main caregiver and that it has to be 50/50 split. I don’t like it but cannot see how it will not end up as that.

However, he insists on wanting to do it as 1 full week each at a time and I totally do not agree with that. I think it’s too long for the children to be apart from either parent. Also, whilst I know it’s all about the children and what is best for them my heart breaks at the thought of not seeing them for a week at a time.

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Mon 01-Oct-18 21:37:53

Can you afford to get some legal advice? I strongly suggest you do, preferably from someone who comes recommended.

Do not agree to anything without advice from somewhere. Don't be bullied into it. Once something is in place it's more difficult to reverse down the line.

He's not automatically entitled to a 50:50 contact arrangement. If you've been at home more and he's been working I'm afraid you have been the primary carer. It sounds like he's had some legal advice.

Contact arrangements are about what is best for the children and not him or you.

Doyoumind Mon 01-Oct-18 21:39:29

I don't think a week on week off set up is likely to be granted for younger children either, so don't worry too much about that. You are in a strong position. Don't let him tell you otherwise.

ScandiCinnamon Mon 01-Oct-18 21:46:35

Doyoumind good to hear from you.

I have historically been the primary carer. Up to a few months ago I had worked PT for 5.5 years. Picked them up from school every day. Alone with them many weekends whilst he was off pursuing his hobbies. He dropped them to school the last three years. Now I’m in a full time job (only a mat cover) as I was desperate to get some financial security (in order to leave). Although I do still drop them to school one day a week and work from home another to drop/pick up. He is now saying well all that’s in the past. It doesn’t count. That I was the primary carer when they were babies and not since.

This a load of BS as I have definitely done the care whilst he has been doing his thing and focusing on himself.

OP’s posts: |
MissedTheBoatAgain Tue 02-Oct-18 02:15:57


Use the online calculator and enter husbands earning and 182 nights into box that asks for number of nights child spends with NRP. See what it produces.

ScandiCinnamon Tue 02-Oct-18 06:30:38

@missedtheboatagain There is no option on the UK GOV maintenance website to enter 182 nights. There is only ‘3 or more nights (more than 175 a year)’ although clicking further in to webpage it says child maintenance can stop when ‘the parent being paid stops being the child’s main carer’. So I guess that then comes back to his argument that I’m not going to be the main carer and we are going to have the DDs 50/50. I know this is not done out of love for the DDs but simply to avoid giving me any money

OP’s posts: |
MissedTheBoatAgain Tue 02-Oct-18 07:00:26

Look at this link

Page 27 reads:

Number of nights of shared care
each year
Reduction to child maintenance
(for each child with shared care)
52 to 103 nights 1/7th
104 to 155 nights 2/7th
156 to 174 nights 3/7th
More than 175 nights ½ (50%) plus an extra £7 a week
reduction for each child in this band

My understanding of the above is that if you were sharing exactly 50:50 the reduction would be 50%. Remember just because you are sharing care equally does not mean you are not incurring any costs when child is with yourself.

ScandiCinnamon Tue 02-Oct-18 08:49:54

@missedtheboatagain. Thanks so much for sharing the weblink. —I will have a proper read once I can find my glasses—

Just a thought...for more than 175 nights... I read it as 50% reduction (100% maintenance rate being if you have child 100% of time. Yes?) then one should take the 50% ££ and reduce with £7/week/per child. So for me a reduction of £14/week as I have 2 offspring.

OP’s posts: |
MissedTheBoatAgain Tue 02-Oct-18 09:59:10

100% maintenance rate being if you have child 100% of time. Yes?

Not quite. Deduction for shared care is only applied if time child spends with NRP is 52 nights or more.

If NRP has child for less than 52 nights per year (for example 40 nights per year) there would be no deduction even though you as RP would not have child 100% of the time.

Not sure why it is calculated like that? For me it would be fairer if the Total CM was divided into 365 days per year and any nights time child spends with NRP is deducted from the maintenance at rate of 1/365th of yearly total?

Maybe someone from Legal or who works in CMS can explain?

Doyoumind Tue 02-Oct-18 11:15:31

Just a reminder OP that he doesn't get to decide who is the main carer or how many nights they are with him. If you don't think his proposal is what is best for the children or made with them in mind you do not need to agree to it. There's no guarantee he would succeed in getting this via a legal route. He would have to pay for any child care on the days he has the DC.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 02-Oct-18 11:18:56

He doesn't get to decide who the primary carer is (although it's clearly been you all the way through the DC's lives). He's trying to control you and bully you. Please speak to Woman's Aid about this, a shit hot lawyer would be even better but you may not have the ££.

ScandiCinnamon Tue 02-Oct-18 11:23:41

But what if neither parent is deemed to be the 'resident parent'? And is this even possible?

As I mentioned above my ex OH is adamant that neither of us should be the primary carer. I assume this is so to avoid having to pay me anything.

OP’s posts: |
ScandiCinnamon Tue 02-Oct-18 11:26:04

Oops. I missed your replies Doyoumind and Lonny.

Lonny; yes I am afraid that he is still trying to control and bully me. I know that it is pointless lamenting how unfair all this is. But it is! It bugs the sh*t out of me that now that I have found the strength to leave he is using it against me.

OP’s posts: |
LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 02-Oct-18 11:27:06

It's to avoid paying you and it's to hurt you. I can't see that a man who has shown little interest in being with his kids would suddenly change his spots... You need to keep on being brave and stand up for the arrangement that's in the DC's best interests. Lots of handholding on here to help you stay strong.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 02-Oct-18 11:28:25


You know how I see this playing out? You agree to 50/50, he doesn't pay you anything, he keeps to the agreement for six months or so to mess with your head, you'll turn around in a year and find you've got the children all the time and aren't getting any maintenance for them because of your agreement. Happens on here all the time, I'm afraid.

TeddyIsaHe Tue 02-Oct-18 11:37:05

Don’t bow down to his bullying. You have to be strong for your dd’s. It reads as though he honestly just wants 50/50 to piss you off and avoid paying money. Which is absolutely not in the best interest of your children! Dd’s Dad is like this. I just dug my heels in, made dd available for him on regular days/nights and ignored all other communication. You have to take back the control and don’t let him scare you with legal talk, it’s usually all bluffing to make you back down.

You have been primary parent for your chikdren’s entire lives, whilst he put in barely any effort. A judge will see through that. I personally don’t think 50/50 care is great for children being carted around here there and everywhere every week, but that’s just my opinion.

Get legal advice ASAP and then you’ll know for certain where you stand. Keep all your communication with him to texts/emails so you have records.

MissedTheBoatAgain Tue 02-Oct-18 11:41:45


There is a question missing here.

Who do the children want to stay with?

Doyoumind Tue 02-Oct-18 11:46:56

OP if you are confirmed as the resident parent in a court order you don't need his permission to travel with the DC. NRP does. Do you want to be in a position where he can stop you going on holiday?There are other consequences here beyond maintenance. Don't hand control over to him on a plate.

I have been through this myself. I was bullied into things I should never have agreed to. Fortunately court did help with some of these issues eventually but I am not completely free of it even now.

Put yourself in the strongest possible position from the start because there could be many years of this to follow.

Starlight345 Tue 02-Oct-18 11:49:00

This really annoys me . Not in 2 committed parenting who have always co parenting.

But in a partner suddenly pretending they can be parent of the year .

Are you actually separated yet op? Do not agree to anything without legal advice. . It is easier to give more than take control back.

rainingcatsanddog Tue 02-Oct-18 11:52:34

I wouldn't 50/50 with an abusivd man. Can you trust him to buy uniform for instance? Or do you think that you'll end up lending him uniform that you bought because he won't buy his own?

Quartz2208 Tue 02-Oct-18 11:59:08

First off get legal advice. 50/50 is not best for the DC so no you dont have to stand for it. He has been absent and away for most of their lives and if he wants 50/50 make he say exactly how he is going to do it. At the very least you need to be the named resident parent

And as others have said it means a cut in maintenance

Get advice now and start the process for contact/maintenance and the house

And stop listening to him - its him saying the 50/50 he is wrong

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